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What is a Painting Knife and How to Use it?

What is a Painting Knife and How to Use it?
A painting knife is a steel blade which is conventionally used for mingling and applying colors or applying paint on the canvas. Art knives are broadly classified into two categories which include Palette Knives which has blunt round end, appropriate for mixing colors and the other is the Painting knife with a pointed end which is appropriate for applying colors on the canvas. Palette knives over a period of time develop “sharp” edges as they are constantly used against coarse earth colors. The blade attached in the painting knife is available in various different sizes and shapes depending on the purpose. Few of the common shapes which are used widely by almost every artist are rectangle, diamond or a triangle. The most essential part of the knife is the bend which originates from the handle which is usually wooden. The bend in the knife is essential because it restrains the paint on the canvas from coming in contact with the hand which can also spoil the painting.

Photo by Elgewen, CC BY-SA 3.0
1. Difference Between A Palette Knife And Painting Knife
People often get confused between the two knives as they are almost similar but the major difference between the two is precisely the usage of the knives. Palette knives are used for mixing colors on the palette as they have a pliable steel blade which is blunt in nature with a rounded end. Painting knives are also used as palette knives though they are completely different in terms of their use.
2. Why are Painting Knives Used?
The flexibility of Painting knives is precisely the reason they are widely used by various artists. Painting knives differ in shapes and are available in various sizes and are used in accordance with the required effect. For example, for angular marks small blades are used and to create a long mark in continuation a longer blade is more efficient. Brushes can at times be replaced by knives too and are the most definite tool for texturing the painting.
3. Different Kinds Of Paints That Can Be Used
The efficiency of painting knives is widely appreciated as they do not restrain any kind of paint including watercolors. A paint which is stable and can keep hold of itself and the strokes that are delivered by the knife will produce the best results. If you use acrylics you can make them more effective by blending some modeling paste as it can make the paint viscous which helps in retaining the required stroke.
4. Numerous Effects
The versatility of painting knife is marvelous. You can widespread the color on the canvas for a flat texture or you can make really narrow lines by using the blunt edges of the blade. The pointed tip of the knife can also be used to alter the pattern in the wet paint. Painting knives are highly used for making the still life paintings because of their efficiency and the various effects that can be produced.
5. How To Use A Painting Knife
To get paint on the knife drag the knife along the exterior of the paint. The flexible use of the wrist is also very important when you try to move your hand in accordance with the canvas. Applying the colors or the paint is quite easy and it is an emulation of putting butter on the bun. There are various styles and methods of using the painting knife to generate the desired effects in the painting which were discussed earlier.

Using a painting knife can be apparently a hectic thing to do but once you get a grip on it you can explore and experiment with your ideas and mould your imagination and illustrate them in your paintings. It is important to fiddle around with various colors and pants and techniques that aren’t conventional as it can give infinite dimensions and dynamics to your painting skills. The points discussed above will give you an equitable idea on how to start incorporating painting knives in you paintings.

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